A lot of local talents have passed through WWE’s revolving door since Braun Strowman began murdering his way through them. Few have enjoyed the career versatility of Tyler Stinson, who also boasts an impressive MMA record. His 3-on-1 handicap match with Braun Strowman won’t be chalked up as a victory, but he still had plenty to say when Today’s Powerbomb approached him for an interview.
Today’s Powerbomb: Tyler, thank you for your time. You’re the latest enhancement talent to do the job. But you also got onto Monday Night Raw. How does that feel?
Tyler Stinson: Not to be cliché, but it was a dream come true. Being in the back was an experience in itself, but getting to walk the ramp and get inside those ropes was something I dreamed about and had started thinking it might not happen. It was surreal.
TPB: Was there some sort of process before you got selected for that spot, or were you already known to WWE?
TS: There’s a process. I won’t get to into the logistics, the main thing that got me the opportunity was being a student at Mercury Pro Wrestling Adademy. I’ve been apart of the academy and the Rocky Mountain Pro promotion for almost a year and half. Matt Yaden steers the ship for both and I owe him all the credit for this.
TPB: Folks like you are usually referred to as “local jobbers,” but often have a pretty strong name on the local scene. Does being used for a fleeting enhancement match undermine your confidence, or have you found that the exposure has helped?
TS: Here’s the deal, I want to be a pro wrestler. If that means I might have to get jobbed out on a stage that grand, hell yeah sign me up! People that say it’s bad don’t understand business. I’m doing this interview right now because Braun Strowman beat the holy hell out of me. So it’s already paying off. The YouTube video of the match is just under a million views. It’s clear as day.
TPB: Are those matches heavily planned backstage with the agents, or were you, your pals and Braun given a time limit and told to call it in the ring?
TS: A little bit of both actually. We had a general layout but things change in the ring and stuff has to be called on the fly, on live TV, so that was very exciting to test myself under that type of pressure.
TPB: How much traction with the WWE did you gain from last night’s showing? Are you confident that you’ll receive a tryout at some point in the future?
TS: That’s definitely a major goal of mine to get a tryout. I was thanked for doing the job by everyone backstage but as far as moving forward I have no idea. Obviously I’d love to get a chance to work there.
TPB: You sound like you’ve been building quite a body of wrestling work. Why don’t you tell us a bit about yourself, history, where you trained, who you’ve faced, and what you’ve accomplished in the indies?
TS: I’ve only been working for a little over now. I actually fought professional MMA for the last 10 years. I had no martial arts or amateur wrestling background, I played football and was a pole vaulter in high school, but I decided one day after seeing a fight on TV that I wanted to do that. Ten days later I had my first fight. I fought 40 total fights going 30-10. UFC is the one place I didn’t fight, but I competed in Bellator, World Series of Fighting, Strikeforce, and many smaller promotions across the country. My specialty was knocking people out. I have several fights I ended in under a minute, 30, 15, 10 seconds. But wrestling was my first dream. Everyone has that very first dream of wanting to be something. A cop, firefighter,marine, cowboy, whatever. Mine was to be a wrestler.
TPB: Have you and the other two worked as a tag team before, or were you thrown together for Raw?
TS: The dude with the crazy hair is a teammate, Curtis Cole. Jonny is here in Colorado but that was first time we met. We had a blast with the “Mile High Trio” gimmick they gave us.
TPB: Usually, a squash match involves one guy getting thrown all over the ring. I don’t think we’ve ever seen three enhancement dudes in the ring against a mainstream talent before. How did the three of you work out how to make Braun look strong?
TS: Honestly it wasn’t hard at all because Braun doesn’t hold back. You’re going to do whatever he wants and there’s nothing you can do about it. He was safe, but he’s just so huge and strong. The spot where he chased me down had to be my favorite part. The crowd was laughing as I walked away and then popped big when he started sprinting and mauled me.
TPB: Jobbers used to be faceless guys who were never heard of again. But the enhancement talents have been resurrected in the age of social media, and all of a sudden, jobbers are really over with fans. How did the three of you strike a balance between being utterly flattened, and making an impression on the WWE universe?
TS: I won’t speak for Curtis or Jonny, but for me, I was asked to do a job so I did it to the best of my ability. It’s that fine line of trying to stand out but not be a jackass and steal focus.
TPB: Any advice for the guys out there who want to walk your way?
TS: My advice to anyone, not just aspiring wrestlers, but everyone would be this: Do what makes you happy. Follow what drives you. Nothing hardly ever goes as planned, but the grind is part of anything worthwhile. Do settle for something less because someone told you you’re not good enough.